Making figures out of clay requires some basic preparatory steps no matter what kind of clay is being used; the look of the character, including details like colors, shape and size, should be determined first and then materials should be assembled based on the desired look. There are several different types of clay, and unless the DIY modeler is going to be working in a studio with a kiln, sticking to air-dry or oven-bake polymer clays is the best approach.
Polymer clay is an easily moldable, inexpensive and brightly-colored clay that is a popular choice for hobbyists who want to make figurines and characters out of clay but don't have access to a kiln and other expensive, high-tech pottery equipment. Air dry clay can be a bit difficult to work with because it is designed to dry when exposed to air, so work time with this medium is limited. Those who want to add a lot of detail and have time to experiment with different techniques may want to stick with polymer clay, which is baked in the oven and stays workable up until it is baked. Once the desired colors have been selected, the clay can be gently kneaded in the hands to be come warm and pliable, which will make it easier to be shaped into characters.